Big Sky Duathlon – 2008
The Big Sky Duathlon is a 4K run-25K bike-4K run on Colorado’s eastern plains. My 14-er climbing buddy Joel wanted to do this race and Bennett, CO is only a short drive across greening wheat and alfalfa fields from my home town, Brighton. I decided to try my first dual-sport event in the fat-tire division because it is the only bike I have.
Although I was the 153rd male to cross the line (overall 1:42:05), I appear to have come in 3rd in Fat-tire division. Darn! I should have stayed for the awards cermony. It was very clear that a mountain bike is weakest when the going is easiest. The bike course was an out-and-back course that was slightly down hill and with the wind going out. In the first half of the bike leg, road bikes (with larger chain rings) flew by while I was at maximum cadence. The field was evened a little on the return trip, although the relative upright riding position didn’t help when riding into the wind. I ran the second 4k leg (21m59s) at the same pace as the first(21m41s), indicating I may have saved a little too much for the end. I was slow in the transitions–where spending some money on cool gear can shave entire 10s of seconds.
I couldn’t resist running some statistics on the participants. The plot above shows the age/gender and overall time scatter plot for the race finishers. There seems to be an "age-defying" line running up and to the right with increasing times below which it is difficult to venture as your age increases. Bummer.
The plot below shows the scatter plots of first and second 4K run times vs. overall time. It is clear (as one would guess) that run times correlate strongly with overall time and that on average, participants are slower on the second run. Although I expected the second effect to be larger.
The last plot shows the distribution of over all times. The finish line is not as crowded at 86 minutes as indicated here because start times are staggered.